Volvo Cars and Uber have unveiled a jointly developed production car based of the XC90 SUV capable of driving by itself.
Uber and Volvo entered a joint engineering agreement in 2016 to deliver 10s of thousands of autonomous drive-ready cars in the coming years and have previously developed several prototypes aimed at accelerating the companies’ self-driving car development.
The XC90 base vehicle is equipped with safety features that allow Uber to install its own self-driving system, enabling the possible future deployment of self-driving cars in Uber’s network as an autonomous ridesharing service.
In addition to Volvo’s built-in back-up systems which ensure that if any primary systems fail the car will immediately came to a stop, an array of sensors atop and built into the vehicle are designed for Uber’s self-driving system to safely operate and manoeuvre in an urban environment.
Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars, said: “We believe autonomous-drive technology will allow us to further improve safety, the foundation of our company.
“By the middle of the next decade, we expect one-third of all cars we sell to be fully autonomous. Our agreement with Uber underlines our ambition to be the supplier of choice to the world’s leading ride-hailing companies.”
Volvo Cars plans to use a similar autonomous base vehicle concept for the introduction of its future autonomous drive cars in the early 2020s.
These technologies, to be introduced on the next generation of Volvo models based on the SPA2 vehicle architecture, will include features designed to enable unsupervised autonomous drive in clearly designated areas such as highways and ring roads.